WOULD you take a trip in a flying car built by a young Filipino hip-hop dancer with no engineering or aeronautical experience?
Kyxz Mendiola last week produced his invention, in effect a person-carrying drone, and flew it out of a warehouse in Batangas, in the Philippines, with a big crowd cheering him on.
Now an international company called Star 8 is planning to put the machine into production after company chief executive Jacob Maimon was among the 450,000 who saw a video of the maiden flight on YouTube.
He told an assistant to contact Mendiola to set up a meeting, but had second thoughts when he learnt Mendiola had no background in engineering.
However, he quickly took a liking to Mendiola.
“What I like about him is he did everything by himself,” Maimon said.
Mendiola said he got the idea for the flying vehicle eight years ago because of his interest in remote-controlled planes and helicopters.
“When drone technology started coming to the Philippines, I started building drones as a hobby, and for filming,” he said.
He calls the craft the Koncepto Millenya.
“It was amazing,” he said after his 10-minute test flight.
“All the hard work paid off. Everything was perfect.”
Koncepto Millenya seats just one person and has 16 rotary motors powered by six lithium-ion batteries. It can fly 6 metres into the sky and has a top speed of about 60km/h.
Flying it is pretty simple.
“Press a button and it will go up, then push the stick forward, it goes forward,” he said.
“It’s very smart, that’s why I’m saying it has a lot of potential.”
He feels it could be of great benefit to commuters in congested cities like Manila.
“It will be able to cut about an hour’s drive down to five minutes,” he said.
Why does it have 16 motors?
In case one or two fail. It will keep flying on 14.
Star8’s Jacob Maimon said he wanted to mass produce it and market it in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong, after helping Mendiola perfect the machine.
“We will get there very fast now with the help that we can give him.”
The company, which has operations in Cambodia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Brazil, China, India, Argentina, Australia, Jordan and others, describes itself as ‘an innovative technology company, continuously introducing new green technology products and applications.’
It specialises in green energy technology and e-vehicles, makes e-jeepneys and e-tricycles in the Philippines, e-tuk-tuks in Thailand, and now wants to market the flying sports car in Australia, Europe, and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines says it does not have any regulations about manned aerial vehicles like the one demonstrated by Mendiola and being planned by Maimon.